Money, I have heard my parents mention, does not grow on trees. I found the maxim to be quite true in subsequent years, for never did I find one with money growing on it. It came in quite handy when it was my turn to bring up my own monkeys… umm, children. “Money does not grow on trees!” I declared to them in no uncertain tones, eyebrows knit to perfection, whenever there was a clamour for things beyond our shoe-string budget. Yet after all these years, I have reason to think that my parents were wrong and by repeating their wisdom ad nauseam to my monkeys… err children, I have been guilty of perpetuating a gross untruth.
Money it seems does grow on trees and in plenty too.
In some mysterious and unknown part of this world, that is unknown to the majority of us, there are chosen ones harvesting money from money trees. It is all sheer guess work on my part having not yet seen it with my own eyes, not even on Discovery Channel or the National Geographic. Hence I am willing to concede a point that it could very well be money bushes or even plants or maybe vines twining merrily on supports with money hanging in bunches like grapes. It goes without saying that the money so grown is in the form of mighty dollars, not your cheap local rupee. Cheee, how could you even think that?!
I wonder if they are harvested annually or bi-annually. Or does the money tree (or bush or plant or vine) bloom only once in a year like the nishagandhi flower. Perhaps it’s only once in a blue moon. If so, this must be blue moon time. For how else is it that I find myself wading knee deep in requests from unknown strangers eager to offload of their plenty on a total stranger like me, living continents away? There are a lot of things I desire to have more and more and even more of. Money unfortunately, does not figure anywhere in the list. I am, sadly so, totally content with what I have. Yet I have these strangers literally begging me to accept their millions.
Take Gloria Caldwell for instance. I assure you, I don’t know her from Eve. Sitting in a hospital bed with only a laptop for company in her last moments of life, in her words, she writes to me, someone she has never met, entrusting me with fulfilling her one final wish. She is only 58 years old. No age to die as yet, I know. The poor lady, suffering from terminal cancer, has been written off by her doctor and is all set to take the final plunge. Before she leaves on that final journey she says, she wants me to invest her money, a total of 3.2 million dollars, in any organization of MY choice and have the proceeds distributed annually among charity organizations, the poor and the needy.
And you thought trust was dead in this world?!
She is not the only one though who has approached me with sack-full of money (read dollars). Every other day I drown in a deluge of mails from good Samaritans offering me of their millions, All For Free. Then there are those others who knowing how delicate this act of offering money is, tactfully and with due consideration to the vestiges of feelings of pride that may rear its ugly head putting their effort to naught, try to make it look like I have won a lottery. All I have to do to collect the moolah, they tell me helpfully, is to reach their choice of destination with the necessary paraphernalia, a couple of empty suitcases. Some want the token use of my bank account as a transit point, no doubt to expand the scope of their philanthropic endeavor, in return for which I would be amply rewarded with the green bits of paper.
How altruistic of all these fine specimens of the human variety to want to make me richer by millions! Imagine such sentiments existing in the very same world where you have next door neighbors who wouldn’t give you the time of the day even if asked ever so sweetly. The earth is indeed one lovely planet to contain such generous people and anyone who tells me otherwise can go burn in hell. Where else will I find wonderful people who care for nondescript old me, a total stranger to them, especially when the rest of the planets in the solar system are devoid of humans?
It makes me feel pretty awful about myself as a person, this extreme generosity on their part.
Look at me. I don’t let any one touch my pink towel. It is mine, I say stamping my dainty foot indignantly if anyone so much as glances at it. ‘Don’t you dare touch my music CDs, they are mine!’ I yell when I find them left lying around minus covers. Just the other day I was telling the junior son that he would not, repeat not, take the Sony Cybershot with him to his hostel. It is mine, a gift from the senior son. ‘Do you hear??’ I emphasized, ‘it is M-I-N-E!’ And all this was happening while good souls out there were tirelessly and unselfishly trying to make me richer by millions, offering me of their plenty all for free. Almost makes me cringe within, thinking what sort of a horrible human being I am. Tears of shame and remorse at my selfish nature fill my eyes.
Tears of shame and remorse may well overflow and wash my soul clean making me a better person. But it does not solve the mystery about the money tree (bush, plant or vine). Where on Earth does it grow? Who are the chosen ones who harvest it? Why do they want to disburse it and not store it in warehouses built for the purpose for their own future use? How do they decide who the recipients are? Is it by divine intervention that they choose whom the money should be offered to or do these mysterious keepers of the magic money tree (bush, plant or vine) use modern methods like searching the net diligently for e-mail addresses that somehow ‘speak’ to them, telling them, so-and-so is worthy and craving for the millions they have harvested? If so they made a blooper.
Sigh. There are many things I want more and more and even more of, but money is not one of them.
© Shail Mohan 2008
Reposted from shail-mohan blogs @ sulekha.com, featured in the ‘creative expressions’ category.
You’re not the only one… i get this mail from African Development bank employee who says that there are some unclaimed millions of US $ in his bank of a family who died in a plane crash. He suggests that i should claim it as the next of kin and he’ll take a small part of it in return. like anybody’d be giving away millions!
Hrishi, I know this is a common thing and that most everyone gets these mails!!!! Imagine there are also those who believe that people do give away millions like this!!! *rolls eyes*
They are not trying make u rich…They are trusting u with it so that the money will used the way they wanted and will not be lost or misused……….
Oh really Premjyothi?? “trusting u with it so that the money will used the way they wanted and will not be lost or misused..” I hope that was said in a tongue-in-cheek manner. If not…. *rolls eyes* I pity you.
On second thoughts, are you trying to pull my leg?? Hmm…
That sort of mails at least sounds convincing …..But imagine some asking to marry them claiming to have milllions in bank….Some claim themselves wives dictators like Idi Ammin.
Hahaha! Sounds convincing Premjyothi?? Like when people want to sell you non-existent shares?? Do you really think some unknown person will really write to you and bequeath such huge amounts to be distributed (oh God!!) and there are no strings attached?? They sound convincing, that is exactly why people fall for it and are duped. Yeah, there are still people around who will believe someone will give them that money for nothing!! These are ALL con games, whether it be claiming to be Idi Amin’s wife or telling you a huge amount will be given to be distributed for charity of your choice.
Anyway the point is not whether these mails are convincing, or whether there are worse type of con games. The point merely is that I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about the mails I got. 🙂
i think i got it 4 times…once from S.Africa(or so they claim), once from Nigeria and after that which ever mails with such offers i didn’t read further…
one thing i know is that i didnt get any from those ‘developed nations’ like US/UK/france, germany etc etc….
now, i wonder why?
does money-plant (not our local one)or tree grows ONLY in the tropical climate or what?
Haha Swathi! Good question. Most of these mails originate in Nigeria. Makes you think there is some secret tree (plant, bush or vine) over there, that flourishes in tropical climate!! I got to know from a fellow blogger that the Nigeria Government even took out big ads in the newspaper apologizing for these scams.
By the way, I recently got one in Facebook, that’s the one from Gloria Caldwell. That is when I thought of writing this post, so kept it for the purpose of reference!! 😛 Got a few in sulekha as well.
For many years these Nigerian criminals have targeted people around the world with stories about liberating millions of dollars, once the property of a toppled dictator or a deceased expatriot. As ridiculous as these approaches seem, innocent people occasionally fall for them.
Iam still getting bombarded by these type of authentic looking spam mails. Sometimes I enjoy reading spam e-mails, they are funny & they really amuse me.
By the way “THIRUONAM AASHAMSHAKAL” to you & your family, Shail Mam.
Vikram: Thank you so much for the Onam wishes. These spam mails we get are ridiculous and at the same time quite entertaining to read. I too have a good laugh most times and it was while doing so after reading one of the more recent ones that the thought of a blog popped into my head. 😛 🙂
Yep, I think I have received a Gloria Caldwell too…. and I actually googled her name at that time!!
That strand of “gullibility” that you maintained throughout the post is hilarious — to say the least :).
Shail, now I get your comment about the Money Tree.It is a coincidence, isn’t it? Do you think it is the cancerian connection?
I have a collection of such mails, which I open and read at periodic intervals when the moon wanes and I get into my ” nobody loves me, so I will go eat some worms” mood..
Of course, I don’t eat worms..I only read mails from loving, kind-hearted philanthropists who either want to bequeath their worldly treasures to me or want to use my bank accounts for money re-routing or even better, want to appoint me as a middleman who stands to make 200% profits if I would interface between them and some 2-bit supplier…
But,I am glad that my maid is not computer literate and has not yet discovered the joys of spam mail!!!! Imagine what if she had???
:O :O :O
Sally Z.Adebayo said:
When I was in Nigeria ( my husband is Nigerian) I would see many buildings and properties with signs stenciled on them announcing “this House is NOT for Sale”.It seemed a strange bit of advertising until I noted the additional admonition “Beware 409”.409 is the civil code that fraud is prosecuted under.
Aside from poverty,corruption,and lack of infrastructure nothing infuriates the average Nigerian more than the scammers and fraudsters who have foisted the notion that all Nigerians are dishonest on the rest of the world.
Roopa, Thank you! *takes a bow* Hmm… I wonder if I have to maintain that strand of gullibility and whether I don’t already have it embedded in me??!!! Especially when seen in the light of Praying goats and a brother-in-law and friends who try to pull your leg at every turn! :p 😉
Rekz, yeah I was like :O when I saw the money tree mentioned in your post! Ahhh the ‘nobody loves me, let me eat worms mood‘!! THAT anyway is a typical Cancerian thing! 😉
You should be thankful indeed your maid is not computer literate. What a calamity if it were!! :O :O :O
Sally, seeing you after a long gap. Ooops! Does it look like I am blaming Nigerians?? Extremely sorry if it does coz that was never my intention. The good, bad and the ugly co-exist in every nook and corner of the world!! It always happens that a few give a bad name to the rest. Happens in different ways in different parts of the world, doesn’t it??
Whoa! ‘This house is NOT for sale’!! That seems a unique way of advertising something!! 😀 I would have been flummoxed if I had seen the ad!
Bob Hoff said:
I remember when I was a kid, my mom used to tell us children, “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true.”
Your post is very well written with just the right flavor of tonque-in-cheek. I enjoyed reading it. Kudos.
May we expect someday in the near or far future a post on the many things that you want more, and more, and even more of? That would be an interesting topic for self-investigation for many, no?
I mean how many categories of such things would a limited group of bloggers create? It sounds interesting or perhaps I am over-estimating the potential of fun in such an endeavor.
Anyways, I like your assertion, not even knowing the specifics. Would two of the things be more colorful towels and CDs? More PW books? More opptunities to read? More help around the house. More people who don’t ask personal questions.
Thanks for the enjoyable mental trip.
Bob Hoff said:
How about a chance to travel to New Mexico and personally try the playground balancing equipment? Whoops, that would involve money I guess.
LOL Shailji.. I will tell you a secret… I am a Multi-Billionaire because of these altruistic folks and the Hardy Money-Trees.. but.. sshhhh, dont tell anyone and yes, I am so greedy, I cant share it with you.(giggling).
Oh by the way.. I also won lottery without buying tickets..will tell you that secret some other day.
Enjoyed this read. Have a wonderful day!!
Sally Z.Adebayo said:
On the contrary Shail,I didn’t think you were blaming Nigerians as a whole.As you say,every country has a criminal element,unfortunately when people say the word “scam” these days it is most often associated with Nigeria and I must to come to the defense of my adopted country.
As always,I really enjoyed this post.I adore your writing and frankly think you should be making money (even if you don’t want more of it 😉 ) from your exceptional talent.More people should have the opportunity to read your refreshing and entertaining take on life!
Bob, your Mom was so right. “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true.”
Ahhh now Bob is curious and wants to know what it is that I want more, and more, and even more of!! Well you bet you can expect a blog on it friend, though I don’t make any promise regarding when its going to be.
Lol @ the colorful towels and more people who don’t ask personal questions. You never fail to make me laugh Bob!! And thank you for that. Glad you enjoyed the post.
Oye Rashmi, hoarding up the all the money I see and giggling too!! 😀 Waiting to hear the secret of the lottery you won without buying tickets! 😉
Glad you dropped in.
Ah Sally Sally Sally! Et tu! 😛 I don’t mind more and more people reading what I write (and thank you for the words ‘exceptional talent’ I value that) I truly enjoy when I receive feedback from those who read. But I really don’t know if I am cut out for the book-publishing and earning money thing. May be someday I will compile some of my writings and make it into a book. 😉 Just for the heck of it!!
sunder ( radhakrishnan) said:
Well these kind of mails i have been receiving for the last 10 yrs. The modus operandi is, if you respond to that mail, they will ask you to pay say rs 2 lacs to process the same..and your two lace is gone….
the best part is, there are people who still believe these and loose money…for them may be at a click they will send the mails to thousands of people ..even if 10 people responds they would have made thier day…
Coming to your point, yes money grows on tree….some years back there was this craze..like time share there was this timber share/….buy timber plant for rs..3000 your money will grow as the timber grows…after 20 yrs the timber will be cut and sold and you will have 5 lacs …many people invested and the company was busted…
now all the timber had died it seems!..it is not moneys fault…had the timber grown, money also would have grown na?
Sunder, yes, that’s the sad part, that some people are gullible enough to fall for these mails. Makes me wonder!!
About those timber trees, I remember it too. There was a mad scramble to invest in the enterprise. That’s right, if the timber had grown money would have correspondingly increased in your account, but nowhere to the extent these mails promise. This is a different tree (bush, plant or vine) that can give so much!! 😛
That was absolutely toungue-in-cheek! Brilliant post!
My parents are also shamelessly guilty of perpetuating this gross untruth that money does not grow on trees. Ignorant people!
I am indebted to you for letting me know about this money tree (bush, plant or vine) that grows in Nigeria, South Africa and other parts of the world. I have already booked my tickets and will be leaving tomorrow. Will send you some saplings/seeds of the money tree (bush, plant or vine).
Salil, hey thanks!! 🙂 Though more and more money is not what I am interested in, I would love to have those saplings/seeds. Imagine, we’ll have our own country harvesting money too and not depend on Africa or any other. And once and for all find out if its a tree, bush, plant or vine. This uncertainty is stressful. Eagerly awaiting news from you.
Mister Bump UK said: